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Beat-the-Clock Beauty: 21 Shortcuts from the Pros

Take back precious minutes of your day. Our speedy makeup, hair, and skin secrets will get you out of the house -- and the gym -- looking prettier than ever.

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Jeff Harris
Jeff Harris
Jeff Harris
Jeff Harris
Jeff Harris
Jeff Harris
Jeff Harris
Jeff Harris
Jeff Harris
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Quick Makeup Tips

Slow way: Applying eye cream, eyeliner, eye shadow, and highlighter when your eyes look tired
Speedy switch: Sweep a light, neutral goof-proof shimmer shadow over your lids and on the inside corners of your eyes to instantly mask darkness.
--Santina Sharpe, makeup artist for SalonCapri, Dedham, Massachusetts

Slow way: Reapplying foundation, powder, and blush after the gym
Speedy switch: Pat a few drops of liquid illuminator onto your skin; it gives you a healthy, dewy look and immediately conceals imperfections.
--Robert Bolanos, makeup artist for Lukaro Salon, Los Angeles

Slow way: Using a color-coordinated eye shadow, blush, and lipstick
Speedy switch: Get a chic look with just one shade by swiping a light pink or coral lipstick on your cheeks and lips and the outer areas underneath your brows. If you have a dark complexion, opt for a sheer berry color.
--Cindy Joseph, CEO and founder of Boom! by Cindy Joseph, Yonkers, New York

Slow way: Layering moisturizer, primer, and foundation
Speedy switch: Mix the three products together in your hand and apply to your face and neck.
--Ricky Wilson, Dior celebrity makeup artist, New York City

Slow way: Struggling with a liquid, gel, or pencil eyeliner
Speedy switch: Choose an eyeliner crayon, which is easier to smudge and allows you to blend stray marks.
--Santina Sharpe

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Expert Hairstyling Shortcuts

Slow way: Blow-drying each morning and again post-exercise
Speedy switch: Work texturizing spray through your hair and use a round brush to blow-dry only the sections around your face for a polished look.
--Tracey Cunningham, Redken creative consultant for color, Los Angeles

Slow way: Styling hair in the gym locker room before going out
Speedy switch: Create volume by applying a little mousse lengthwise through damp hair before your workout, then gather strands into a topknot secured with large pins. Release afterward for a full-bodied style.
--Jeanie Syfu, Tresemme celebrity stylist, New York City

Slow way: Repairing your hair with a 20-minute treatment every week
Speedy switch: Once a week before bed, run a dime-size dollop of mask through the bottom half of strands and let it absorb overnight. No need to rinse the next morning, because it acts as a smoothing cream when you style your hair.
--Tata Harper, founder of Tata Harper Skincare, Whiting, Vermont

Slow way: Curling hair before work
Speedy switch: Weave strands into a single loose braid at night and let it out when you wake up for soft waves.
--Ron King, owner of Ron King Salon, Austin, Texas

Slow way: Applying antifrizz and shine products to hair before styling
Speedy switch: Use a boar-bristle brush to blow-dry: The bristles help move natural oils from scalp to ends, smoothing flyaways.
--Charles Baker Strahan, celebrity stylist for Herbal Essences, Los Angeles

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Quick Skincare Tricks and Tips

Slow way: Reapplying SPF, then having to redo makeup
Speedy switch: Keep a face powder with SPF in your bag and dust it over your skin when it's time to reapply sunscreen. It'll also help minimize shine.
--Erica Kelly, MD, director of cosmetic dermatology at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston

Slow way: Washing and exfoliating your face and body daily
Speedy switch: Cleanse and scrub simultaneously by applying your face or body wash with a battery-powered brush.
--Heidi Waldorf, MD, director of laser and cosmetic dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City

Slow way: Putting on sunscreen once you're outdoors
Speedy switch: Rub on SPF while you're naked in the bathroom so you can see where you're applying it, avoid missing spots, and don't waste time working around your clothing or bathing suit.
--Amy Wechsler, MD, dermatologist, New York City

Slow way: Cleansing your face morning and night
Speedy switch: If you washed your skin before bed (and it's not naturally excessively oily), you don't need to do it again in the a.m. Just rinse with water to refresh yourself.
--Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, codirector of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery, Washington, D.C.

Slow way: Fighting calluses with pumice or a foot file in the shower
Speedy switch: Slather on foot cream or petroleum jelly before you work out to keep feet soft and protect them from blisters.
--Dr. Waldorf

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Time-Saving Beauty Product for Hair

Ojon Damage Reverse Instant Restorative Hair Serum ($25, Sephora stores) performs the duties of heat protectant, frizz fighter, leave-in conditioner, shine enhancer, damage repairer, and overnight strengthening treatment.

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Time-Saving Beauty Product for Nails

The topcoat end of the Sula Paint & Peel Duo in Berry ($9, Ulta stores) helps nails dry fast and resist chips. The water-based lacquer peels off quickly without remover when you want to change colors.

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Time-Saving Beauty Product for Your Face

Wipe tulip extract-infused Chanel Eau Douceur Cleansing Water Balance + Anti-Pollution Face and Eyes ($45, Nordstrom stores) over your skin to remove makeup and cleanse -- no water needed.

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Time-Saving Beauty Product for Your Face

The Jemma Kidd Pro Skin Perfection Kit ($36, holds correctors for redness and dark circles, a glimmery highlighter, and a flattering berry tint for lips and cheeks.

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Time-Saving Beauty Product for Your Face

Swipe on the primer end of Laura Geller The Double Deal Foundation & Remedy Stick ($27, to hide pores. Follow with the foundation on the other end, which has enough pigment to double as concealer.

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Time-Saving Beauty Product for Your Body

Use aloe- and chamomile-laced Playtex Sport Body Wipes ($3 for 20, Walmart stores) after your workout. The convenient single-use sachets leave you clean and smelling fresh when you have no time to shower.

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2011.

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